warrior forge

The strength of denial

Angst Drabble prompt #3 - “Despite what many think, I am completely capable of taking care of myself.”  Requested by @a-steady-wish - thanks for the prompt and hope you like it.


“Are you sure you don’t need me to stay?”

My mother’s expression is wavering somewhere between anxious and hopeful - in fact it hasn’t changed much since she quietly took my hand in hers as the infusion of drugs began to find their way into my system.  An army of scientific warriors ready to forge a path to the tumour invading my body, to do battle against the rogue cells that threaten to consume me.  A treatment so aggressive in nature that, it can quite literally destroy even as it remedies.

It never ceases to amaze me that, aside from a feeling of detachment - a strange hovering sensation of not being quite connected to the corporeal world - there is absolutely no sensation as this necessary poison is slowly drip-fed in to me.  There should be something though, some way of making it all seem real; a burn, a slash of pain, a dull throb or a coldness that tracks its progress; but really, there is nothing and this total lack of affirmation makes me feel strangely cheated.

I have been assured that steps have been taken this time to, if not completely eradicate the nausea that plagued me during and following my previous treatment, to at least temper it down to a more manageable level

And so far at least it seems to be working.

I have even been able to sleep a little and when I awoke I realised that over half the four hour infusion had passed with no real side effects.  In a couple more hours I knew that Mulder would arrive to take me home, his presence more easily dealt with than that of my Mothers’ because he has somehow found a way to mask his own fear, his own concern and not make this whole situation even worse than it already is.

Because this is a fight I have to fight alone and while some might welcome a sympathetic touch, a whispered word, a moment of emotional release, I have my own ways of dealing with it.

Because right now my strength is dependent on him, in our belief in each other and our belief in the work. If we take even one of those component parts away there is little doubt that we will both begin to fall.  And if that happens there will be no stopping the decline.

For him, for me and for a million reasons I am unable to find adequate words to voice, I refuse to let that happen.  At least not until the choice is ripped away from me and as much as I sometimes wish it were not so, I have always been a realist; my grasp on the reality of science such that I know my chances of surviving this are zero and that at best, the chemo will add just a few more months on to whatever precious life I may have left.  Maybe giving me enough time to find a way for me to uncover the answers I seek; to find a way to make accountable those responsible.

Mulder understands and his understanding is born wholly from a recognition within himself that, in order to let me go, he must find answers and judgement of his own; to give this at least some meaning he can hold onto when I’m no longer the one here who can give him the affirmation he so desperately seeks.

Maybe it really is him and me against the world; maybe that’s how it was always meant to be.

“Dana?”

I drag my attention back to my Mom, wishing with all my heart that I could find a way to chase the shadows from her face, a face so beloved to me and one which seems to have aged and weathered in the weeks since I broke the news to her that I was dying; that I will die.

“I’m fine Mom honestly.  You should go home before traffic builds up too much.”

And I know she wants to argue, to insist on remaining with me so as to give me the comfort that she believes is her right and which I find myself neither willing or requiring of even though I hate myself for denying her.

And so she releases my hand, resting her palm against my wrist for just a moment before she breaks the connection.

I allow her to kiss my cheek, the feel of her lips so reminiscent of a thousand childhood memories that at that moment, I just want to throw my arms around her and never let her go because she is my Mother and her role is that of protection, of love and of a comfort that endures through a whole lifetime and I want to scream out my need of her, to shatter the sterile silence that surrounds me and which keeps me locked inside myself behind fortress walls that have quite literally been years in the making.

“I’ll call you when I’m home okay?” I manage to offer instead and drop my eyes to the soft woolen blanket that covers me to my waist, somehow not willing to watch her leave.


XXXXXXX


As always, Mulder stayed at my apartment with me just long enough to ensure I was settled, that I had everything I needed to get me through the night, insisting on opening a can of soup and leaving it on the counter ready for me to heat up later even though I think we both knew that I wouldn’t be able to find the strength to bother.

He would have remained if I asked him to.  He would have gladly ensconced himself on my sofa while I sleep off the exhaustion; that for as long as I was willing to allow his support he would be there with me.  But to do that would be for me to admit a reliance on him I am not at all ready to accept.  Because the moment I do is the moment I admit to both of us the inevitability of this cruel disease and I just can’t do that to him right now.

So I had simply smiled my thanks  as he gently rested his warm palm against my cheek, trying to ignore the desperate worry that radiated from him and which chipped away just another tiny piece of my continuing resolve.

“Are you sure there’s nothing I can do for you before I go?”

Shaking my head slightly against his hand as an excuse to lean into his touch I had lied, just as I always lie.  It’s just part of the game we are both so adept at playing; a game with such self imposed principles of behaviour that from which, regardless of circumstance, we never deviate.  Ever

“I’ll be fine Mulder, because despite what many think, I am completely capable of taking care of myself.”

It’s fair to say the statement came out sounding a little harsher than I had intended it to and for just a second I saw his eyes darken as hurt flared briefly across them.

“I’m sorry.  I didn’t mean it like that.  I’m just tired I guess. Long day you know?”

And his expression cleared slightly.

“Promise you’ll call me if you need me.  I mean it Scully.  Day or night okay?

I promised him of course.  I mean, what was one more lie to add to the multitudes?

And now he is gone, now I am alone again in my silent fortress, I sink to my knees, desperately seeking release as I begin to weep.

End

veenilla  asked:

I agree with @askkrenko that Fortifications are kind of silly. What I'm more interested in discussing is the possibility of Structures. They were an artifact type designed for Ravnica that could be attacked, and were incorporated into the design of Planeswalker cards. Given the artifact themes, colorless matters, and architecture emphasis, I think they're a much more interesting topic than Fortifications./

Interesting… so the idea of Structures would be something like this? 

Except I assume that a structure like this would activate its abilities on your opponent’s turn at instant speed instead of planeswalkers that activate their abilities on your own turn at sorcery speed. 

Is this the kind of thing you had in mind, @veenilla​? I could certainly see some potential design space there. Especially if there were creatures or spells that got bonuses when they destroyed a structure! 

And speaking of overcoming structures and obstacles, that reminds me of the teaser of Amonkhet on the Wizards.com website: 

“The desert oasis of Amonkhet forges warriors. You have trained your entire life for a chance to face the Trials of the Five Gods and join the elite ranks of the Worthy. Using your strength, speed, and cunning, overcome deadly challenges and rise above the competition to claim an honored place in the Afterlife!” 

Starts the way it always does
The awkward dancing around
With words instead of with feet
Dirty, dirty habits that I can’t seem to shift

I meet you, you meet me
Exchange smiles, exchange pretenses
I slip into your arms
Like I was supposed to be there
Like a constant fixture
Stupid, stupid fool

I fall for you
Head over heels
Deep beneath the murky waters
Love is an easy label to put on things
When you’re behind a computer screen

But it’s never going to be a fairytale
And I know I must move on
Can’t bear to start packing away the things
The things that were once ours

I read about how I’m stronger than this
That I am a warrior forged in steel, my heart covered in iron nails
But that’s always going to be a lie
For even in my armour, I drown in you
Deeper, deeper.

– p.a 

5

House Tian Wei Lian - 天 威 瀾 

The Trevelyans of Ostwick

父: Tian Gaofeng (Zhang Fengyi); Father, vigorous and bold, Merchant-King of Ostwick.

母: Tian Xulan (Joan Chen); Mother, poised and stern, Matriarch of a generation destined for greatness and doom.

一: Tian Liling (Gao Yuanyuan); First-born, ambitious and shrewd, the inheritor of iron will.

二: Tian Yuna (Zhang Yuqi); Second-born, tenacious and brash, a battle-forged warrior of the Templar Order.

三: Tian Jin (Godfrey Gao); Third-born, carefree and charming, a maverick among mages.

四: Tian Maena (Ni Ni); Fourth-born, gentle and erudite, a scholar of magecraft, poisons, and remedies.

The first would inherit power amidst a war 
The second and third would perish in white-green fire
The fourth would rise from the ashes as Herald of Ruin 
 

I read this post by donewithwoodenteeth, and I like very much the interpretation of Sansa’s role.  I agree that Bran is likely to be lord of Winterfell, and Sansa, while I don’t know exactly where she will end up, I suspect she will be in the all important role of mother, caregiver.  As was pointed out in the linked post, she was a powerful, though unappreciated, force in keeping the frightened women calm during the Blackwater Battle. 

I appreciate the fantasy genre, and characters like Dany, Arya, and Asha are fierce and wonderful, but after the battle is over, what then?  Sansa may not be warging or moving the pawns in the games.  She’s not on the frontline of battle, but what can Sansa do?  She can show compassion and empathy and love.  She can calm a terrified, raging Hound.  She can lead a sick, frightened little boy safely.  She can be the Mother, who will show them all a better way.  The world needs the unsung heroes like Sansa. 

3

Hunter / Titan / Warlock

“Legends are carved across history by the brave”
Guardians are warriors forged in the Traveler’s Light, a final hope in a universe falling into Darkness.

Chosen from the dead by the Traveler’s Ghosts, Guardians are those rare few able to wield the Light as a weapon. For centuries they have defended the City. But that defense cannot hold forever.

Now, with the Darkness rising again, the time has come to retake out lost worlds. The Guardians who lead the way will save humanity - and become legend.