“Roots of the weed sucked
first life from the genesis of earth and hold the essence of it still. Always the weed returns; the cultured plant
retreats before it.”
Warning: Alexandra has a very
The trolls in the market didn’t
bother Alexandra as she walked through them. She made eye contact with some,
nodded to a few, and even found a few smiles aimed to her, but no one stepped
on her path, and no one spoke. She understood that it was a time of mourning;
they were feeling the loss of a trusted figure just as they were curiosity over
a new one. She didn’t take offense at the lack of conversation at all; what she
wanted was silence, and a chance to be alone with her thoughts.
Eventually she walked until a
warm glow encompassed her body, and she looked up to the enormous crystal that
fed life into the caverns. She couldn’t tell if it actually was alive or not –
was the hum in her blood louder, a greeting? Or was she only imagining it?
She nodded to it, just in case.
Surely something that gave life to thousands of people had to have one of its
There was a bridge that led to
the Heartstone; picking her way along the edge of the cavern, she deliberately
focused more on her thoughts than her surroundings.
She had been Changed and switched
to serve as a watcher, a gatherer of detailed information. Her human family had
sailed from Wales to New Jersey shortly after her ‘birth’; she had been swapped
for their child for the purpose of following the trolls across the sea, finding
their trails and watching all of those, both troll and Changeling, who came to
the new world. Her job had been to observe, so she refused to see now; she
couldn’t help but notice people, details, sounds and smells, but everything was
filed away in favor of thoughts and emotions. Her job ended with the death of
her familiar in 1964. As far as anyone knew, she – Verity, Petra, Leta – was dead
As far as new beginnings went, Trollhunter wasn’t too bad a start.
But therein lay the problem, didn’t
it? A Changeling as a Trollhunter?
Changelings were known to be capricious, unpredictable, self-serving, and
malicious. Their very existence was a lie; everything
they were was a lie.
Whoever had decided to swap the
whelp Alexandra for a Quaker baby clearly had not thought it through. Alexandra’s
community, her third childhood, was steeped in the values of honesty and
integrity. For her very nature to be so dishonest still rankled at her.
The thrum of the Heartstone grew
louder in her bones as she drew closer to it, slowly strolling through the
market until she reached the bridge. There were no signs, no indications that
the Heartstone was forbidden, and so she stepped onto the bridge, half
expecting it to crumble beneath her feet.
Why did the Heartstone feel so
warm to her? Changelings were…very nearly things,
to both trolls and Gumm-Gumms alike. She would have expected something like the
Heartstone to reject her outright. She was no longer one of its hearts – a child
taken and changed into a weaving of
abominations – but the hum was steady, and the light was warm. She didn’t enter
the hollow center of the crystal but put a hand to the glowing mass. It, and
her amulet, pulsed once.
“You seem conflicted,
Trollhunter. I trust that the training session was a success.”
Alexandra didn’t turn around. She’d
heard Vendel’s soft footsteps before he’d appeared from the hollow of the
In that moment, I became connected to the green life of the Earth. Trees, flowers, weeds, crops… from the most ancient to the most humble… they spoke to me. And when I spoke to them, they listened… and answered my call. I gained other powers. Immunity to poisons and viruses. Innate control of pheromones. I lost myself for a time, immersed in an emerald dream. i was pulled back by a driving purpose. To protect. To save. I am Poison Ivy.