The Incarnation of WarAuthor:
Not mine. Just playing with the dears.Author’s Note:
First line supplied by houses, who again, might not have let me play with it had she any idea what I was going to do with it.It was the voice that caught her attention, she decided, a low rumbling, the sound like a tornado far away, vibrating the ground into your very soul.
Well, either that or the fact that time appeared to be frozen. You know, it was kinda one of those hard to miss things. One minute she was fighting for her life against some wacko goth, demon-worshipping, demi-god raising wannabes and the next, she was standing in the sort of whacked-out sculpture garden that schools would never
come to on field trips. All around her Junior Slayers, as she had taken to calling the girls awakened by Willow’s spell, were in mid-hack on demons or hitting their dumb-ass followers. Well, all but one.
Kennedy’s face was frozen in a scream of horror. She had just turned to see Faith slit the throat of the ringleader when time stopped. Now he was frozen as he pitched forward, a graceful spray of blood arcing from the gash across his neck.
“Faith, a moment of your time?” Great, he’s got a sense of humor – sort of
, she thought turning to face the man who seemed to be responsible for this strange state of affairs. He was astride a rusty-colored horse, that snorted fire from its nostrils. Which she found both really disturbing and really cool. Wonder if you could roast marshmallows with that hayburner?
His jacket and pants were crimson as well and covered in embroidery and jewels, rubies of course. He was a quite a looker. He was Indian or maybe Pakistani. She did, at least, realize that it wouldn't be wise to guess one were he from the other. Dark hair, dark elegantly-shaped beard and huge, inviting chocolatey brown eyes. But none of things were the first thing she noticed.
Nope, that would be the red, flaming sword he had at his side. It was a miracle that thing didn’t set his pants on fire. Then again, from the look of the rest of him, she wasn’t going to say no to a pantsless mystery man.
“Hey. So – time freezing. That’s a nifty trick.”
He smiled, “Indeed”.
“So,” she set down her sword and walked a little closer. Obviously he wasn’t going to kill her – anyone who could stop time, could probably have killed her already. “I am thinking you wanted to get my attention. Ya got it. What’s up?”
“I did wish to speak with you. I am Mym, the Incarnation of War.” When that produced not a flicker of comprehension, he continued smoothly as if he had done this many times before. “I work with the other Incarnations– Fate, Nature, Time, Death. You have been seeking absolution, a balance of your soul. You have been seeking to purge the black mark on your soul.”How could he know that?
“I am an Incarnation. There is little I cannot know if I so wish.”Mind reading. Well, that was rude.
Squinching up her eyes, she thought really loud. Back the fuck OFF, Bucko!
He chuckled but said nothing about her mind-scream. “I have come to impart some important information to you. We have been watching you for some time. Chronos, he who commands Time, says this is a pivotal moment in your life.”
“Ooookay.” Maybe she had taken one too many blows to the head. This was all really weird.
“They will not understand or, more importantly, you will think they do not understand about his death." He glanced at the leader in mid-fall. "There are, in fact, a few among your friends that will agree that these humans could only be stopped by death and, if they were to live, would only continue to aid the demons in their slaughtering.”
He looked her straight in the eye. “You are doing what must be done to preserve the balance. And you are cleansing your soul – the light seeping into the darkness. Someday you might even meet Zane- if you are still balanced when the time comes.”
She didn’t like the sound of that last part. But the first, it was like a weight had lifted. Not that she was going to show her relief.
Faith shrugged. “Yeah I kinda figured the Scoobies weren’t gonna be all hip-hip-hooray about this. But these guys were bad news, they would have just kept fucking shit up and hurting people and, you know...it sounded a lot better when you said it. Can you come explain it to the rest of them?”
Mym just laughed. “I’m afraid I can’t. My time with you is running out. You must prepare yourself for battle again.”
Faith went to retrieve her sword and, right as the world started moving again, Mym called out to her. She wondered about it for days afterwards, could she have heard correctly, until she finally got up the courage to do as War had suggested.
“Oh, and Faith. Sometime, should you feel the need to talk about this, go tell Rupert Giles you met an Incarnation. And tell him, he too has been doing a fine job of balancing his soul.”
And with that, he vanished.As always, feedback welcomed and responded to...