Amatsukami Scions of Honolulu

Sass meets.... the Pharaoh

Well today was weird… I met the Pharaoh, who happened to be Jarred from my classes (eyes glaze over) he is so dreamy. Wait… what!? Damn he also seems to be able to turn off my brain just by thinking of him (eyes glaze over) those abs!!!! DAMN it. I also found out that Horace didn’t know who… the Pharaoh… was. That worked I didn’t think about Jared (eyes glaze over) I wouldn’t mind him wrecking me. @#$%!!!!! ALSO the Pharaoh seems to have the same affect on Val but she uses math. I need to find something as a distraction so I can reality check myself. Now that the Pharaoh has been found what am I supposed to do? I guess I should go talk to Mummy(heh).

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Session 2

I am betrayed.

Perhaps this was an inevitability – my brainpower is comparatively vast, my thoughts have no limit, there are corners of my mind that even I have yet to explore – of course, the only thing that could have betrayed me without me foreseeing it and planning for it in advance was a deep, dark, uncovered corner of my own impossibly brilliant head.

But, damn it, damn it, damn it, why?

So, the pharaoh has revealed himself – well, sort of. Jared Stevenson, a perfectly average teenage boy who would be completely uninteresting and entirely pointless if he weren’t destined to be the most important person in the world.

And the worst things of course, that some stupid, ignorant, disobedient corner of my brain is screaming at me for writing even the simplest of unkind remarks about him – and another part is desperately trying to write his name in curly writing and draw little hearts all over it. I HATE IT. HATE IT.

Right, enough feeling sorry for myself and time to draw up battle plans.

Jared is destined to have four brides – (well, three brides and one riled up bitch who will fight his brain-raping magic until the day she dies) – each representing four holy symbols of Ancient Egypt – the staff, the sword, the cup and the ring. There’s lots of symbology there – Dan Brown would be having a field day. Most notably is, of course, that the symbols are the ancestors of modern day playing card symbols, which are, in turn, derived from pagan tarot cards – brought to Europe in the 14th century from – you guessed it – Egypt. Luckily, my abuela left a set behind in the apartment – she loved all of that curandera, eggs-under-the-bed stuff – so I’ve been studied them in my spare time, trying to find patterns or underlying occult secrets to them. I’d previously dismissed them as Abrahamic pseudo-magic, but now I’m convinced there’s something more sinister, more legitimate, with their creation and use.

It’s also worth looking at the symbology associated with the Queen of Clubs – since my role as Jared’s consort of the Staff makes that the card most connected with myself – Argine, latin for queen (latin queen?), mother of intuition, associated with mental or psychic work, most resistant to change, has a quest for knowledge, and is impatient and intolerant of ignorance. Gods, don’t you just fucking hate it when thousands-year-old mysticism explains you a fucking tee?

Wynis is embracing her role completely – consort of the Cup, a.k.a. the Queen of Hearts – with nauseating results. She’s probably already gushing about Jared in her diary, making him little gifts, and daydreaming of how she’ll be his one and only – even though he clearly and obviously has THREE other women. How can someone so readily accept destiny, as fucked up as it is? Why is she willing to throw away everything she’s built because something as vague and ill-defined as fate tells her she has to? Is it the fog in the brain that affects my mental faculties so much? Wynis is clever-ish, but is it my intellect that has allowed me to keep these feelings somewhat in check, while Wynis is overcome and quickly conquered by this confusing haze of love and lust and duty and desire that is swirling around in our heads? Hopefully, Sass will be less easily swayed – though regardless of whether she is or not, it will prove an interesting glimpse into Jared’s hold over us. Perhaps with enough control subjects, I can devise a way to break free of it – or at least ignore it completely.

But, there’s that little voice again – telling me that I don’t want to do that. That I want to spend every moment with him, and serve him, and bear his children, and be his forever. Shit. Shit, shit, shit.

Distance. Distance is key. I’ll keep my distance as much I’m able… and I can’t let the feelings bottle up, otherwise they’ll explode outwards like during our first meeting, like shaking soda in a bottle. I need a safe outlet that can’t be compromised – the hummingbirds will serve this purpose. No-one else (at least as far as I’m currently aware, though Wynis’ father is a distinct possibility) can talk to them, so my secrets and weaknesses are much safer than they would be in a computer or regular speech-based form. Get out the emotions, start every day with a fresh head and approach all of this from a logical, fact-based standpoint. I’ve heard rumor of a purple concoction, based on old pagan magics, to allow its drinker a dreamless sleep, which is also worth investigating. A brain, if denied conscious release, may instead rely on subconscious release, which in turn would trigger endorphins while sleeping, which could result in undesirable side-effects such as somnambulism – not good. When I’m forced to close distance with Jared, I can solve complicated mathematical derivatives in my head – if fate’s going to make my brain foggy, just fill it up with stuff, so that the fog can’t get in in the first place.

Think everything through – double check everything. Never make a mistake.

Fight this, Valeria, with every fiber of your being. YOU ARE NOT PROPERTY.

Don’t ever let anyone or anything or any god tell you otherwise.

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Sass log 3

I was going to try and keep the fact I met my Mummy a secret from dad as long as I could… It lasted most of a day and in the end he found out and I got a free large shake. Little things… On another note when I got to the station I lost some IQ points when I heard what Wynis did, our next meeting will be awkward with me just standing there dumb founded… for an extended period of time. I tried to get Horace alone for a bit so I could talk to him about the whole marring an elementary student, I mean Pharaoh thing and see if he knows anything about it. After work I went to the arts and crafts store an bought some sewing things. figured I should have a decent reason why I have an outfit hidden in my underwear drawer that will NEVER be warn in public. On that note if this Pharaoh ever tries to get me to ware that by its self he might end up wearing it and never forgetting the experience. On another random note I need to find out if there are any public events going on at the elementary school I can go to, to see if I can find my future “husband.” Ohh I wonder how Val is doing it seems as if I haven’t seen her in ages like when we woke up after the “event”…..

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Pharaoh Hawti

Dear Diary,

All in all, today was not as bad a day as it could have been. I started the day unemployed and under a tree and ended it back at home with a job at least. I am still surprised as to how quickly I accepted that my godly parent is now living as a talking falcon. Less surprised that my friend Valeria, being the vet that she is asked him how he… well reproduced with my mother. Sigh. Needless to say, I did not sick around for that awkward conversation.

Speaking of Val, she got me a new job. Not that I am too thrilled about it, but still, it’s a temporary fix to a problem. Certainly not looking forwards to flaunting around in short shorts and a tank top, but as Val says, I am going to need to “use the boobs.” Sigh. The sexual abuse I am sure to get from my new boss is not something to look forward to either. I do not get how Val put up with it, let alone allows that man to get away with it.

Starbucks is going to FINALLY open up in this tiny town. I am very excited for it. I am going to get to have some decent coffee for once. Could have had it at a discount if Val had kept her cool during out little meeting with the man trying to open the chain here in town. Can’t really blame her too badly though, Jared is indeed a stunningly attractive boy, for a mortal.

Seeing her being unhinged the way she was was something amazing to behold though. Never in all my years would I ever imagine seeing Val so… “15 year old school girl love struck,” but fate seems to love humor. Speaking of fate, back to Jared. This Pharaoh, assuming he is a mortal and hasn’t awoken as a scion yet is a real heart-throb. I can see why Val was so dumbfounded, there is something about him that makes it hard to think clearly and nonsexually. I am certainly not opposed in any way to marrying him. I could just… umm, nevermind.

Not too happy sharing Pharaoh hottie with 3 others, but as I said, fate has a sense of humor. Pharaoh will have 4 people around him at all time. though I guess maybe they are not all going to be brides. A cup, a sword, a ring and a staff. Each are a pillar that hold Pharaoh (the world) up, and I get the cup. THE CUP! Why? Because I am compassionate and I am to keep Pharaoh compassionate. Not that I mind, but why something to fragile? Am I supposed to take this literally, metaphorically, or just take it as a old tale/legend? Sigh.

On to happier things, tomorrow I am going to accompany my intended cutie on a school hunting trip. Val is coming too. I am sooo looking forward to this. I hope I get stand behind him and show him how to shoot a gun. I am sure he would like it too, hehe.

Till tomorrow diary,
- WA

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Suspension

Well, today did not happen how I hoped it would. I keep replaying what I could’ve done differently, despite every part of me compelling me to not let this man die for thievery. Should I have let him hang? What if I paid his bail or talked to the “mayor” about it, maybe gotten the thief a probation? Maybe save him during the hanging with a compelling speech? I guess it’s completely moot now. I hope i never see him again.

On another note, I am the child of a talk hawk god. Horus-Ra seems friendly. I hope I get to see him more, albeit him having better news that I am destined to marry the reincarnated pharaoh. Saying this in my journal makes this seem like a am completely insane. Still getting used to this whole scion business. I wonder if Sass or Valeria are having as much of a hard time as I am.

My fathers gift is going to be a hassle to tote around. I’m sure a transparent spear that glows white won’t be an easy thing to hide or pass off. Unless… maybe I can cover it in ceremonial Native American dressings or something. Hmm….

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Session 1

Lying in bed now, staring pointlessly at my ceiling, hoping that some thoughts will string themselves together. I’m exhausted, so I can’t imagine this will go on too long… I predict I’ll be fast asleep within three minutes or so. However, the shitty old tablet Mr. Padilla gave me last year is recording my thoughts as I go; it can’t connect to the internet, but it can word process just fine. Hopefully, this’ll be somewhat useful if I read them back tomorrow. The hummingbirds are buzzing away – good; I always find that sound relaxing and conducive to deeper thought.

Right. Big things of the day. Let’s start with daddy – he’s back, again – and once again, he’s put me in a bind. That damn destiny thing has cropped again – and he’s finally revealed the role that I’m supposed to play in this grand affair. Wife. Teacher. Gods, I hate teaching. I already have to slow down my thought processes to communicate regularly with pretty intelligent people; now, I’m expected to slow down enough to teach a prepubescent child basic geometry… Gods, there’s never been an activity more dull… And that’s not even getting to the wife part. Me? Matrimonial bliss? Not fucking likely.

Also, brothers. Not pleasant ones and moronic even by the standards of idiots. Hapi, with the head of a baboon; and Duamutef, with the head of jackal. Interesting, according to most myths I’ve discovered they’re the children of Horus – but ancient records decay and are occasionally wrong. Still, they move fast and may be easy to manipulate in future. Things to consider.

Finally, pharaoh. Born on the Dragon Mountain – but not a volcano, though frankly I still think it’s a good guess. I’ll do some cross referencing on my boss’s computer tomorrow – it can still connect to the Internet and it’s not like I can’t do his books in less than a couple minutes. I normally do it without a calculator to try and challenge myself, but I can shoot through it and get some research done. I hate being tied to destiny like this – but, he’s my ticket to the far side of the board. Will he really be a god-king like the old stories say? How does that even work? Am I a god-person already?

Eyelids heavy. I’m more tired than I expected – barely making it two minutes tonight. Oh, well.

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Sass' adventurous day

Well today is turning into an interesting experience. Not only did I have to deal with Mr. Walkers P.E. class and suffer through a homophobic awards ceremony, I got to visit a distorted world. It seems my father lost an interesting bet and proceeded to get wasted and screw a mummy. The interesting part is that the mummy was named Seshat and screwed my father back. So my biological mummy is a mummy…(chuckles) Oh and I’m am destined to wed the new pharaoh who is supposed to be an elementary school student, that I “should” be able to identify. To start i will need to talk with Horace and see if he knows anything. Then I need to see if I can find my Mummies (chuckles) resting place, and if not find a way to get father to tell me if he knows where she is. Also while visiting my Mummy (laughs)… that will never get old… I seemed to pick up sowing fairly well, from re-attaching her arm. Lastly I need to come up with a list of a few questions to ask in the event that my mind fails me. I had my dead Mummy (chuckles) in front of me and I could not think of a decent question, like since I forgot what to ask does that become something she knows since she is the goddess of forgotten knowledge? And know I get to figure out what to tell my family since I disappeared with out warning… fun.

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Valeria's Graduation

“Valeria Villanueva,” came the principal’s voice over the loudspeaker.

I smiled slightly, as was expected of me, then began to move out of my place in the line. Standing on the other side of the stage was my principal, Mr. Cosner, and one of my teachers, Mr. Tugwell, holding my high school diploma. So, all in all, I had all of about three steps and twenty feet to make the impression I wanted.

I want these assholes to remember this face when I leave. I want them to have an awkward conversation with their ugly children explaining to them that that weird girl they used to laugh at in high school was Valeria Villanueva. That name is going to echo around their heads in embarrassment and shame.

Luckily for me, unlike most high school outcasts, I happen to be hot as all hell, with a handy little kick from my divine blood kicking in just a few weeks ago. Before, I was stunningly beautiful, noticed even though I’m wearing secondhand jeans, no makeup and a baggy rock n’ roll t-shirt. Now, I’m not just noticed – I’m impossible to ignore. If I wore those slutty clothes that are popular these days, or a cheerleader’s uniform, I’d have any of these idiot boys licking my boots and liking it. But, today is about being remembered, so I’m bringing my A-game. I’m wearing one of Wynis’ old dresses that she lent to me – she’s more mainstream in style, and has enough money to buy some half-decent outfits. It’s black and tight-fitting, and since I’ve got a couple inches on Wynis, just a tad shorter than dresses are supposed to be. Add that to a killer pair of heels – not my divine ones, at least one of my classmates will try and steal those – but a pair of my mom’s that matched well, and a strategically torn graduation gown, so that just enough leg pops out to be enticing. As I ascend the first of three steps to the stage, I turn briefly at the audience to see if it’s working.

Yep, every goddamn eye in this place is on me. I think I see drool in a couple of the boy’s mouths. When I’m halfway across the stage, I’ll wink at one of them – let’s see how wet I can make his pants. Still, my control of the room is complete, at least for the moment, because I can see my mother getting up from her seat excitedly. In approximately a second, she’ll be standing, screaming at the top of her lungs. Wait, is that an airhorn? Two? Oh, mother. My greatest nemesis is my greatest supporter.

Right, time to adjust stratagem, I could pretend to stumble slightly and subtly open the top of my robes, giving the audience a glimpse of my cleavage or I could make a pose like a bubblegum girl, pop one of my calves into the air and give a big smile – that would more than compensate for the tremendous amount of noise and distraction that my mother is about to create. I take another glimpse at my mother – halfway up now, a face contorted into what is about to become some intolerable whooping noise. But, her eyes, bloodshot and tired – she had to work a double shift yesterday to make up for taking today off – are nonetheless full of joy and wet with tears. She never got the joyous graduation I did, I guess. I was already four years old, and, according to her, already demanding Shakespearean literature, so I can’t imagine being the easiest child to deal with. She was an outcast too – the high school freshman with a baby, but with none of my gifts to make it better – and Abuela Maria was a hell of a lot harder on her than she is on me. Plus, of course, being blackmailed into having sex with a giant jackal-headed skeleton at the age of fourteen can’t exactly be a pleasant memory.

Shit. Fine. New plan. I’m not going to these high school idiots ruin my mom’s big day. I’ll adjust my stance slightly to conceal as much of my thigh as possible in this already torn gown, smile widely, and bob my head slightly to appear more excited than I am. Let these people remember my girly girl attitude today, I’m still going to blow them out of the water in a few years anyway. Not what I wanted when I woke up, but dammit, I love you mom.

Right, second step ascended, and mom has finally reached her feet. Gods, this world moves so slowly. I’ll be to able to adjust my stance by the third step, but as always, my arms and legs don’t respond as quickly as I’d like them to. I was going to spend this walk, zoning in on the individuals in the crowd and seeing how much my new look was affecting them, but that was a whole two seconds ago. Now, I need a new train of thought to keep me occupied on what will otherwise be the most boring twenty feet in human history. Mom was telling me about how this ceremony was a momentous moment – how it will redefine me as a person, how it is a time to reflect and look back on my life so far. Fine. OK. Valeria Villanueva’s greatest hits – you’ve got one step and about twenty feet.

Earliest memory then – Abuela Maria’s pancakes, when I was two. She’d cut them into animal shapes and make me do all the noises before I could eat them. My mom would sit at the table with us, doing her homework and she’d smile at me and do the noises with me sometimes. I started waking up early to see how it was made and how she did it all. Then, when I was three, I woke up much earlier and tried to make them myself. My mother and grandmother woke up to find me crying and covered with milk and flour – I hadn’t been strong enough to pick up the gallon of milk and I’d spilled it everywhere, so I could only successfully make five pancakes. They hugged me until we all were all covered in pancake mix and we sat on the milk-soaked floor making animal noises and eating pancake mix off each other until Abuela had to go to work. We never had much, the Villanuevas, but we had each other and sometimes, that was enough.

I smile at the memory as I ascend the third step. My stance has successfully shifted; my mom is screaming so loudly that all of Nile Gulch can hear her. Everyone else is applauding, probably reluctantly, but the wolf whistles from the crowd mean at least a few people are still following my original plan. Not what I’m going for anymore, idiots, keep up. Dyani and Wynis are in the crowd too, on their feet, applauding. Unexpected, but nice.

Next memory then – well, there are lots, from this point on. The day I discovered poetry was a big one – Coleridge, Neruda, Blake, Faulkner and Dickinson were my rock stars. My family never understood my obsession – Abuela was too into her telenovelas, and mom, her reality television, so I walked alone to the library and read there. The old librarian, Miss Diane, was always so nice to me; she always gave me the adult poetry books, and didn’t point me in the direction of the Dora the Explorer section with the other eight year olds. I used to sit with her and, together, we’d analyze the big poems. One day, we were sitting in the library and she was reading from The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, and I told her that I was my family’s albatross – the freak that hung round their necks bringing them misfortune – and she held me and cried and told me I was the most perfect little girl she had ever met. She died not long later in the Catastrophe. I didn’t find out for weeks. I wrote a poem for her – The Modern Mariner, I called it – my tribute to her and Coleridge over two-and-a-half pages of iambic pentameter. I published it under her name. I hope she liked it, wherever she is.

Gods, the Catastrophe – it changed everything around here. The day when the sun blazed brighter than anyone thought possible and set the sky aflame. Everyone here suffered, and we got it better than most. Most of Europe went underwater – so much for my dreams of visiting the Globe Theater and the great cities of old; and so did California and New York. Here, in tiny Nile Gulch, it hit us hard too. Half of the town burned, most of the school, all of the old factories. Dyani lost her parents and got those horrible burns and I… I think I died. My father – Anubis, god of the dead, though he said that wasn’t true when I called him that – met with me in the underworld and guided me to back to the land of the living. When I came to, I was trapped in that endlessly black body bag for five hours… I screamed until my voice was hoarse and cried until my tears had rubbed my cheeks raw. When they finally found me, I was alive, with a killer set of heels, a severe case of claustrophobia and a million unanswered questions.

But, I was alive and so, so many people weren’t. No, I was more than alive – I was miraculous. I was already clever, but I quickly became brilliant; my body hardened – I remember recovering from the flu in only a few hours; my reflexes spiked. I could feel the warmth of divine ichor surging through me and I loved every moment of it. For the first time in my life, I felt like I wasn’t a cosmic mistake or a misunderstanding. I wasn’t the albatross; I was the Mariner himself, plunging into an ocean of the unknown, ready to face it with all of the gifts that were granted me. And then, less than a year later, my Abuela died on the day after my tenth birthday – an unexpected heart attack. The bargain my mother made on the day of my conception was for ten years of my life – Anubis had given her an extra day as a fatherly gift to me. The truth came crashing down once more – no matter what I could do or what I chose to do, the world would always be immutably cruel.

As I cried myself to sleep for the third night in a row, I begged that it was all a lie. I begged that I was still in that accursed body bag and these were the dying dreams of a little girl who did not yet want to die. As my mother held me, and we rocked together in the dark, our tears merging to become a single flood, I vowed to conquer death itself. A word of warning to the universe and its divine overseers – never put an impossibly smart tweenager through grief. I had the intelligence of a graduate student coupled with the emotional maturity of a ten-year-old who’d just lost someone she loved. Did you think there wouldn’t be consequences?

Eight feet to go. Principal Cosner’s smiling, but he has a look of insistence in his eye. Apparently I’m walking slower than I intended. In my peripheral, I see my mother waving and screaming still. Wynis is still applauding, though Dyani’s lost interest and is now just half-heartedly tapping her hands together. I spot Sass in another part of the audience – her cousin Tobias walked the stage before I did, but she’s clapping enthusiastically while whispering to one of her brothers, who looks like he’d assault her if his attention wasn’t fully captured by my enchanting smile. Nope, gave him too much credit, my mistake. He’s staring at my chest. Typical.

Right, now, where was I? Three days after Abuela’s small and criminally unattended funeral, I had decided to study medicine. It took me two years to gather the materials – the Catastrophe had pretty much wiped out the Internet, so I had to convince doctors at the local hospital to lend me textbooks and teach me the basics. I spent hours at the hospital observing through the windows, then began practicing surgical and injection techniques on my stuffed animals. Meanwhile, in order to help mom, I took on more responsibilities around the house – I cooked all of the meals, did most of the cleaning, while, in my head, I recited the bones, muscles and nerves of the human body and memorized the texts and diagrams of_ Gray’s Anatomy._

On my twelfth Christmas Day, my mother had to work at the grocery store, so I was cuddled up tight on the sofa, eating cookies I made that morning and watching a medical documentary on the television, a bird began tapping with its beak at my window. It was a hummingbird, a tiny little thing, smaller than the palm of my hand. I opened the window… and, to my initial disbelief, thanks to yet another divine trick, I could understand it perfectly. “Come quick,” it squeaked, then darted off into the distance. I threw on my scarf and mittens and followed it through the cold. It led me to a small colony of the little creatures. They’d migrated from the south in light of the Catastrophe, but they’d barely held it together. The last female was gone and the eggs in dire straits as they suffered in the wrong climate. I gathered them up – carefully placing each egg in a separate matchbox, packed with shredded paper, and ran home – followed by eight or so of the adults. I worked and I worked, skipped school for a week straight – so determined I was to prove that I had some power over the tolling bells of the deceased. I lost a few, and wept over them, but nine days later, right around the New Year, the first of the eggs hatched – a girl. I’d done it. I’d saved them. It was the best moment of my life. I’d won.

I was enraptured, captivated, ensnared by my own success. I refined the technique, hatched dozens more, then wrote down my findings in detail. My bedroom window became a garden, bustling with activity, filled with a dozen newly hatched hummingbirds – each named for a character from Blake’s Four Zoas: Thurmos, Ahania, Urthona, Vala, and many more. My mother thought me mad – dancing around, filling my bedroom with birds – but she always knew I was unique and, in her defense, she always encouraged my weirdness, even if she couldn’t possibly deem to understand it. By fourteen, I had switched my focus to veterinary medicine – particularly of the avian variety, and a few weeks before I turned sixteen, I published my first paper was published in as scientific journal – A Comprehensive Understanding of Avian Breeding: New Methods to Encourage Continued Procreation in Bird Species Affected by the Catastrophe. I couldn’t use my real name obviously, no-one would take seriously, so I used the pseudonym John Witsman – the whitest name I could come up with. It also had the added bonus of being partially named after one of my teachers at school – the racist son-of-a-bitch told me I’d amount to nothing, just like my mom… I kept hoping he’d bring up his namesake’s new paper in class and I’d smile inwardly with a silent victory, but of course, he doesn’t read scientific journals.

So, yes, I switched focus – people to animals. But, those birds gave me a sense of accomplishment that I’ve never felt before. They finally made me feel like I had a purpose in the world, that all of the trials and tribulations that I went through meant something. When I turned eighteen, I took all the money I’d managed to save from the odd-jobs I worked around town (oh, Nile Gulch Diner, how I have hated you) and had a little stylized hummingbird tattooed on my wrist – to remember what those birds taught me – that I was here for a reason – that I mattered.

Retrospective over. I’ve finally arrived. My teacher, Mr. Tugwell, is shaking my hand. We got to pick what teacher presented us with our diploma and I chose him. I owe him one, I guess – my mom freaked out on him a couple years ago for some reason; she scratched him pretty bad, but he never pressed charges. Also, he tries not to look down my shirt, which I appreciate – I mean, he still does every now and then, but you can tell he feels bad after he does it, unlike the other teachers. Hell, I had to flat out stop going to gym after the whole Coach Walker fiasco. He smiles at me, quietly says a platitude over the applause, then hands me my diploma. Principal Cosner shakes my hand too, then gestures for me to leave the stage. There’s only one kid after me, James Whitis, but it’s his turn now. I’ve had a thousand thoughts on this stage, and only now, I think that I might have wasted it. This is it. The end of my high school life – the beginning of something new, something different. Enough of the same endless, stinking monotony. Enough of being a prized filly in a town with no horse racing. Time to make what’s left of this blasted world know my gods-damned name… with a side-helping of screw you to anyone stupid enough to get in my way.

And, then, I see it. Him. A solitary canine, sitting in the back of the gymnasium, subtle enough not to be observed by the plebeians around me, but obvious enough that I couldn’t miss him. A jackal… Not native to here, but potentially a thriving migrant. But, it’s the classification that matters, the species Sass and Wynis both used on the day the sun blasted apart. They can’t have seen a jackal head on him. They can’t have. They’re not clever enough now to recognize a species of animal they’ve never seen before based on a disembodied and comically-enlarged example of its skeletal head, and they certainly weren’t then, but they both said it – separately, without influence or coercion. They both said jackal, because somehow, supernaturally, they knew… Just like I did. It was a jackal then, and it’s a jackal now. That thing, this emissary, keeps staring at me… Its gaze unbroken; its attention unwavering. Its fur is of a deep black, like unstoked coal, and its eyes gleam like the burning yellow suns of a distant system. They bore into me. Reminding me.

“You were always here.”

No. I fucking refuse. I refuse to be your instrument of choice with which to strum along to fate’s all-consuming melody. I’ve read the stories – all the stories, even ones that hadn’t been properly translated until I turned my eye on them – and I see the patterns. The ones who come back from the dead are never left in peace – they’re brought back for a reason, for a purpose. I have a dread destiny, of that I’m sure, some role to play in the coming tapestry. The question is what role? Because the divine play with patterns and history will only ever repeat itself. So, what role? With an ass like mine, probably the damsel in distress or the swooning princess or the hero’s prize after his long quest. Or, hells, even worse, maybe I’m the mentor or the crone or the matron… It won’t be the hero. No, women like me are destined to be a meager footnote in someone else’s grand sonata.

“You were always here,” he said. I was – am – always dead, he means. Returned from beyond the grave to scream inside a body bag and limp helplessly along with the shackles of destiny around my neck. I am a specter, a jiangshi, a lemure, a draugr… A revenant. Fuck.

I descend the stairs on the opposite side of the stage from which I started – my elation gone, my retrospective ended. My new beginning unfurls before me – with a jackal-headed skeleton standing at its end, just as he always has. What do I do? Do I reluctantly accept that I am little more than a pretty face with fate’s stamp on it? Or do I fight on, refuse to go quietly, battle ceaselessly and pointlessly against the tyranny of an inevitable future?

The jackal turns to leave. His message is delivered. I stare daggers at his back.

I’ll fight, of course. Fuck destiny. Fuck fate. Fuck all of it. I matter. My choices matter; my suffering, my pain, my trials, my triumphs – they all fucking matter! Even pawns can become queens if they reach the far end of the board, and that’s exactly what I plan on doing.

Your move then, universe. But, I warn you, I’m damn good at chess.

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Sass growing up

After meeting Anubis during the solar flare Sass starting getting for lack of a better term “abilities.” Shortly after she also started drifting from her family, due to the kinds of questions she asked. For example when she was discharged from the hospital and was on her way home with her mom driving, she asked about the “Jackal headed” man, and her mom flatly denied his existence. When Sass and her mom got home the mom told Sass father what Sass said, and disagreement resulted between Sass and her father which ended up with Sass never speaking about it again and denying it happened for a couple years.
During the next 2-3 years Sass’ abilities increased dramatically compared to her classmates. While Sass still asked questions they were more pointed and sometime just rude. Like when she overheard Alice talking to another jock and claim that she was “too busy to go out with him” Sass chimed in as she passed that Alice was lying. which got her a nasty look from Alice. Which started a scudo rivalry between Alice and Sass. Sass always having the grades and Alice the sports.
As Sass got into middle school she started noticing that she would get easily distracted at random times and one time while she was “distracted” Horace passed and he “glowed.” The way he glowed reminded her of an event that she had repressed, and her memories returned. Unfortunately they hit her hard and she passed out. When she awoke Horace was there next to her saying she must have passed out due to the heat. Sass’ response was that he was like the Jackal man. After this Sass visited Horace often at the police station to ask him questions about the Netjer, and one day he told her she had to start “earning” her answers. So Sass started helping out at the police station. While she was not the best at anyone thing, she was proficient.
Once Sass started helping out at the police station she also started drifting from her family. While she still helped at the Synagogue she always seemed to have something else to do and left event early or skipped when she could get a way with it.

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Creating a Galaxy Necklace for Dummies
Arthur's attempt to give his bond a gift

Step 1: You must decide what type of artifact this will be. Example (Weapon, Armor, Transport, Support, Other)

Step Two Purview: You must describe what you are making the relic out of.

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