The thing is, I can't even explain it to you. Not in a way that you would all understand. SHE is dead. And in order to explain that death, I need to tell the whole damn story.
Green Man, Hakurei Ryuu, I owe you both. I've been debating how I'd write about all of this all day. During training at the Dojo, as I ate pizza with the guys afterwards, as I met with my buddy who'd been in Japan during the earthquake and Tsunami and just got home...and then I realized, the best memorial would be to just do what I'd intended to do from the beginning. I will tell you our story. HER story intersects with mine quite a lot, and maybe you will all find some truth that I cannot. As it is, it will include the story I have alluded to this whole time, my "November Incident." There, you will learn why it is that I have this day counter, that's been counting down from 28 to 0.
When 0 Days remain, SlenderDouche will arrive. I will engage him in a nearby park in the city. And I will determine exactly where I need to go from there. I will not win. But I will find out what I need to know, and be ready to engage him in the next battle. And then I will go to war with a world of proxies, illusions and death. Failure to do so at this point, after seeing what everyone else has gone through, would be the very definition of cowardice.
That said, let us begin.
|This sums up my Training Period quite well.|
When I met Time Lord at that school summer program, I had no idea what I was getting into. I was young, I was stupid, it's been eight years since then. Many people who get involved in this kind of work might tell you that they wish they had never got involved. I am not one of those people. I've done good things, and I know that if I had continued to live my life in fear of things I could not see, I would not be here today. For my entire life I have lived with a giant target sign on my back that says "Hi negative energy beings! Hi demons and things that hide in the dark! I'm a Big Fat Target! Kill Me!"
It's not a way you want to live.
Of course, four weeks after I met Time Lord for the first time, I wasn't thinking that. I was thinking something along the lines of "Oh god this hurts." You see, if demons were beer, then here were enough demons at that summer program to host a week-long fraternity party. It was a bad time, and I had to understand how to banish, purify, or destroy a variety of different entities VERY quickly.
Let’s get something straight right now: my training was NOT sufficient. Time Lord and I were both neophytes, and Time Lord was different in that he had sensed the imbalance in the world and had just gone to work. He was basically just updating me on what he'd figured out at this point in his life. We've gotten better, smarter, tougher, the whole nine yards. We spent the majority of our time working together making it up as we went along. I can admit that now. We were and are partners, no matter how many ways you slice it. If the world ended tomorrow we would spontaneously find a way to stand next to each other, bump fists, and go to work.
Four weeks into this unfortunate hell of a school summer program, a great army of "shades" arrived. They were creatures made of shadows and negative energy, and they had a serious beef with just about everything in the area. Time Lord called on all the local spirits he could find, and we found ourselves with a decent sized army to oppose them. And in the middle of the night, when the fight was at its thickest, I ended up jumping off the fortified wall we managed to put together and attacked the enemy on the ground. All of them. At once.
I was so very, very stupid when I started out.
So I was in my dorm room, feeling a spot on my chest where it felt like I'd been hit with a huge hammer. I was gasping for breath, groaning, hoping nobody else could hear me. I have felt pain like that maybe two other times in my life. Back then, if I took a wound on an astral projection body, I'd feel it on my physical body. Needless to say, that's not as much of an issue anymore. At the time though, I probably could have died if something had gone much worse. It hurt just that badly.
Remember that distant presence? The one I spoke about when me and Time Lord first met? Well, the spirits near me parted, and they brought her in. I could feel that presence, and it was magnificent. She placed her hands on the wound, and I could feel this warmth pulsing through it. I could feel my body taking the proper shape again, and she was giving me this little smile. I knew her, I knew her from the tips of my toes to the top of my head. Everything about her being there made me feel like there could be a light at the end of this tunnel.
She said to me, "I missed you."
I could tell you the gory details about how she pieced everything back together, and about how crazy it was for both of us to talk after that. I didn't understand what was happening at all. She was always one step ahead of me, always knowing just a little bit more about what was happening than I did. She knew exactly what was going on. I was just amazed that I was talking to a friendly spirit in my room, and somehow seemed to know her. She wasn't a spirit. She was real. And I may never see her again. But that's something to discuss later.
So Time Lord and I were on a basketball court a few days later, discussing this along with two dragons. Don't laugh, just because you can't see them in the physical world doesn't mean they don't hang around sometimes. I couldn't explain it to them. I could feel a weight on my heart and like my entire body was burning and it wasn't like anything I'd ever felt before.
Dragon 1: "He's in love, isn't he?"
Dragon 2: "Silly humans. It would be easier if he realized it."
I blinked, and glared at them. I said something along the lines of, "You know, I can hear you."
Dragon 2: "Well shit. He learns fast."
Dragon 1: "I would hope so. It's his only hope."
I said, "How I can I love someone I've never met before?"
Time Lord: "Maybe you did meet her. Not in this life, but in the last one. God only knows how often we get Reincarnated."
The dragons nodded.
I couldn't help but agree. It felt right. And I could feel her watching. Keeping an eye out for me. But then, there was that other presence. He watched from a distance in his ancient armor, and Time Lord and I both spent a while theorizing what his deal was. By the fourth week though, he made his position pretty clear: In my past life, I had insulted him in a way that could only be repaid through blood. We would do battle when he felt I was skilled enough.
This is a running theme with my career. I don't actually REMEMBER anything that happened in these supposed "past lives" I have. I've remembered maybe one, two things, and none of them feel right. The one thing I do know for certain, is that I worked REALLY hard on making enemies. I must have had a wonderful schedule:
8:00 AM: Wake up.
8:05 AM: Make an enemy for all eternity.
8:10 AM: Kill someone in such a manner that their family swears vengeance on me.
8:15 AM: Shower.
8:30 AM: Kill an assassin while showering, earning the enmity of a Ninja Clan
8:45 AM: Get dressed. Eat breakfast at mess hall.
9:00 AM: Inadvertently insult the cooking, earning the enmity of the cook.
9:05 AM: Make an enemy for all eternity.
9:10 AM: Execute an Enemy, making their family my enemy for all eternity.
9:15 AM: Defeat ambush.
9:20 AM: Be An Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy. Anger my peers.
9:30 AM: Make Snarky comments about a peer's mother.
Seriously. That was only the first hour-and-a-half of what my average day MUST have been like, because I have met so very, very many spirits who have said, "You! You're a total jackass!"
I really am a nice person. Really! Now, I actually got a better explanation of who I was later on. This is just what I could piece together at the time. Either way, I think I’ll stop here for tonight. Lord knows this is going to get complicated enough as it is. I’ll try and distill the information as best I can, readers. Lord knows that trying to tell 8 years of history in 16 days is NOT how I should have gone about this, but I’m stuck where I am. Do forgive me if this ends up feeling like what I am afraid it might be: too much to tell in too little space.