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Rebirth And Second Chances 119 Fusion

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Experiencing the memories of another being was disconcerting. Even more so when that other being was an elemental construct. The Sithern's memories included tastes of bedrock, gravel, dirt, and metal. All those ingredients that could be found where it had been born. Sadly, they also contained memories of poison, pollution, and sewage, mankind's impact on the land and water table.

The Sithern had mostly experienced contentment, happy memories of expanding, absorbing energy from the ley-line, creating new dioramas and environments. Delight and wonder as it unlocked the ability to shape entire landscapes and grow crops that would feed its people. It was proud that it could protect and sustain those that entered its domain.

The introduction and discovery of the Volar-fey when they appeared was a marked advance in abilities and intellect.

Delving the memories of the Knockers to unlock flowers, floor plans, furniture. The Sithern was most content when it was creating. Creation was the stuff of joy. Being able to mold and adapt to the inhabitant's needs fulfilled an imperative that all Sithern were born with.

Learning that protection, secrecy, limitations were required led to adapting areas of the Sithern with deadly traps, brambles, and thorns that could be called upon to rend and tear anyone or thing that would invade or attack.

The Sithern was born knowing, instinctively, how to fold s.p.a.ce, how to make the inside bigger than the outside. Creating the doorway, a rift between dimensions that was layered in illusion, was part of that inborn knowledge. A seamless tear in s.p.a.ce that connected the outside world to the dimensional landscape that the Sithern had developed and deployed.

Expanding as needed. Transforming and establis.h.i.+ng great sweeping acreage that allowed for flowers to burst and the Volar-Fey to frolic. Hectares of arable land that was bursting with life.

The Sithern was satisfied, sharing the gift of creation and life with its people. But always so lonely. I was always aware that something was missing. That it wasn't complete, whole, or perfect. Until I came and acted. And in my coming affected change and supplied reason and conformity. Shared my ideas, unknowingly as the Sithern read my emotions and thoughts. Leaked bits of magic and blood.

But it was when I shared Winter. When I allowed my Ice Domain to become part of the Sithern that that missing piece, that yearning the Sithern had held in abeyance was finally fulfilled. There was no life without death. The Sithern understood that the concept of death was intrinsic to creation. The nature of life and death were cyclical. The Sithern understood that one lead to the other.

But that relations.h.i.+p, that growth, had been denied. The Sithern is trapped in perpetual Spring until finally, my blundering supplied the missing piece, the relations.h.i.+p between the life and death freed the Sithern from Spring, allowed the Seasons to flow and creating harmony. For the Sithern, when Winter came, the trees and flowers would die or sleep, and in their death, they would release seeds that would grow and become more.


The stored potential, that smallest flicker of life waiting patiently for the right time, the right moment to burst into voracious growth and once again claim dominion over nature. Until this concept was understood, the Sithern had been static, adapting only to the whims of those that visited.

A perpetual Spring where nothing ever changed. Flowers, trees, crops grew. And if not harvested, would not progress past that point. Trees were swollen with newly ripened fruit. Crops heavy with produce. Flowers overflowing with nectar and pollen. Everything was frozen at the moment of ripeness.

That had changed. The Sithern and I didn't become one. The relations.h.i.+p wasn't the same as Caraid's and mine. That would be unhealthy. The Sithern was the awareness of a dimensional pocket in s.p.a.ce, intelligent enough so that it could be molded and grown into an entire world. But if we were tied so tightly together that we became one, the Sithern would only exist as long as I lived.

The possibility for me to live forever existed. But Immortality that could be snuffed out by accident, taken from me in combat was not true Immortality. And if I somehow was killed and the Sithern and I had merged, then it too would die. By not becoming fully bonded, the Sithern could continue, searching for and establis.h.i.+ng bonds until the Universe ended.

Our connection was more symbiotic. It provided me with a safe harbor. I provided it with direction and purpose. But if I died. The Sithern would continue. It would find a new partner and reshape and reform itself to conform to the ideals and requirements the new host would share.

But until my death, our connection was una.s.sailable. No one could steal the Sithern from me. As long as I lived, the Sithern and I would remain connected. Our relations.h.i.+p, no matter distance or time, would remain the anchor the Sithern required to find purpose.

As I learned these things from the Sithern, reliving the moment it was given form and how it evolved, it learned from me. As it browsed through my memories, I discovered exactly how much more, how expansive those memories had become. I remembered the Winter Solstice when I had my arm broken by Thom and Duke A'Daoine intervened during my childhood. The Duke's actions changing the trajectory of my life.

I remembered holding my first sword. Being measured for my first set of armor. Attending cla.s.ses in history and protocol. But most of all I remembered the loneliness. I wasn't sure Jennie had done me any favors by scheming to draw Duke A'Daoine's attention to my circ.u.mstance.

Once Lord Kel had been forced to move me into suitable quarters, to include me in family meals and discussion, to hire tutors that were suitable for a Seelie child, the friends I had made among the staff began to distance themselves. That Jennie left the Keep at the same time only increased my sense of abandonment and loneliness.

The servants were still polite to me. I would say they even still loved me as much as they were capable. But there was now a clear divide between our stations, and they were loath to cross that line. I think they would have still taken the chance and risked maintaining friends.h.i.+p if Thom's bullying and envy hadn't been so blatant.

The Sithern shared with me those memories of abuse. Memories of Thom using weapon practice to strike blows that left me reeling and in pain. To lead his sycophants into making jokes at my expense, belittling my weapons skills, when I, a new student, was unable to withstand the blows of a Ranked Knight. His actions making clear to my Tutors that the efforts they put in while educating me were a waste of time and would not be rewarded.

Sharing these memories with the Sithern for the first time helped lessen the pain and blur the immediacy of the life that Caraid had lived. The sharing made it easier for me to absorb and internalize the lessons learned. What Caraid had experienced over years of painful and bitter angst, became a part of who I was. Re-molding my soul, my memories, so that I was, finally, a true son of Sidhe.

The process completed, I looked back at some of my actions and how I had blatantly misstepped or insulted the Ranked. My ignorance and actions ignored because of my own Rank. A Prince was a law unto himself, and instead of defying Protocol and established norms, I was establis.h.i.+ng new practices as was my right as a Ranked Prince.

One of the interesting things I discovered were those moments when I acted without knowing why, when the words to speak Oaths, to accept Va.s.sals, to bind in brotherhood were clear and obvious to me. Those incidents occurred because of the initial Soul binding between Caraid and me. Those were the words of Oaths he had learned. Our imperfect soul binding still managing to impart what was needed when the words and actions counted.

It was a strange perspective, disconcerting as I relived those experiences and remembered my life. The mind that I knew evolved, my ident.i.ty changed as the Sithern and I relived my life. There was no grieving, no sense of loss, as the person I had been faded, the child of Earth stepping back and allowing the Sidhe Prince to finally become.

I became the person I was meant to be. The person I should have been when I reincarnated. And it was a relief. Finally understanding the shades of innuendo and subtext the Sidhe operated under, the motives and actions that those around me had instinctively processed, but that I had failed to identify.

Caraid and my relations.h.i.+p matured as I transformed. He had always been more than an ent.i.ty that shared memories. More than a Google a.s.sistant. That part of his role in our relations.h.i.+p was over. Now he could be a guide, a sounding board. A person that I could discuss and make plans with on an equal basis. Someone that I could trust implicitly to have no ulterior motives. Now that I understood the ramifications of my actions, I could act more effectively. Less blundering and flaying my way through a situation, more thoughtful and intentional, my decisions made finally understanding the subtle nuances of Sidhe culture that I had been ignorant of.

The knowledge the Sithern and I absorbed was more than I should have had access too. But because Caraid had been altered by S-Prime, his memories were more. More than his age should allow, more than a Ward should have been given. And those memories, that boost that S-Prime had gifted him with also became part of the newly unfolding person I was.

Memories and knowledge that a Sidhe Prince would need to navigate the Political pitfalls and landmines that I would no doubt find placed in my path.


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