|Of Gods and Fairies|
All the problems in the universe however, pale in comparison when Kotal finally heard the news of what had happened to Silencia.
The clouds part from the sky and sun light shines brightly upon the park as the turquoise skinned Aztec warrior descends from the heavens with a loud crash.
"No!!" His cry of anguish further disturb the serenity of the park as he finds that the news were true. He can feel Silencia's chi trapped in that cocoon of vines and leaves.
"Silencia!!" The warrior rushes to tree and grasps it in despair, the only reason why he doesn't shred the thing apart immediately is for fear he might injure the fairy within.
A female figure, made entirely from the cherry tree's branches, smoothly jumps down from that branch. Her landing is as light as the fall of a leaf. This time, her stature is taller to match that of Kotal, Alitura able to face Kotal without needing to look up at him. "I've been waiting for you to show up."
Rarely does the Aztec god show such raw emotions. He didn't say much when his realm of origin was conquered, not when he was banished to Earthrealm, not when the Spanish killed his entire adopted people, not when Prince Goro killed his father, through all those experiences, mighty Kotal Kahn had always pushed through his despair and kept a sober outlook.
This time though, its the closest that Kotal has ever come close to actually crying. He all but kneels before the cocoon and grips it desperately, whispering. "Silencia.. no.."
The path of a warrior is a tough one. He cannot yield to despair not even when he feels like he has lost the one closest to his heart. He feels a presence even before he hears the voice of the strange feminine creature and he's instantly on his feet facing the tall figure. His glowing golden eyes facing her as he draws his macuahuitl menacingly.
"Who are you!?" Demands the warrior "Are you the one responsible for doing this to my butterfly!?"
It's difficult even for a god to keep a rational mind when he's absolutely livid. Kotal hadn't realized that he had referred to Silencia as his pet name for her in front of this strange, though it ultimately didn't matter, all he wanted was to have his girl back in his protective arms.
Kotal doesn't try to stop this Alitura when she moves towards the cocoon. Not because he instinctively believes she'll cause Silencia no harm, but because he's channeling an attack.
"HRRGG!!" The warrior snarls as a bright ray of sunlight shines upon him making his tattoos glow brightly, the power of the sun empowering him as much as the limiting barrier will allow.
The barrier around Twisted limits how much power Kotal can get from the sun, yes. However, even it cannot stop every source of power and Kotal has many.
"The Searing Blade!" Calls Kotal as he taps now into forbidden, blood magic and summons a small totem from the ground which greatly boosts Kotal's energy.
And to top it all off, the Aztec then draws his ceremonial dagger and slices the flesh of his chest for a blood offering, furthering increasing his strength.
Suddenly, his eyes and tattoo lines are no longer the brilliant golden they were before, but blood red.
He's really about go all out right now it seems.
"GAIA!?" Kotal cries in recognition, the power within him making him suddenly very twitchy. Though he doesn't put his weapon away, at the very least he puts the top of his macuahuitl on the ground deciding not to attack for now even though the power he just summoned is almost burning through him.
"You overstep the bounds of your domains, Mother Gaia. Silencia became my priestess long ago, she is not yours to claim!"
Fortunately, he is far from being completely consumed by his anger, rarely does Kotal ever let his emotions control him completely, and this includes a berserk rage. Even though the situation is quite dire, the Aztec refrains from acting on his base instincts and doesn't attack Mother Gaia.
Although he's very close to coming to that point.
"You cannot deny me anything, Gaia. The girl is mine!" The warrior bares his teeth and grips the handle of his macuahuitl tightly. "She is mine as I am hers!"
"Our love is something that even /you/ cannot break!" Though Kotal's respect for the Great Mother is great, even she is not allowed to take Silencia away from him.
As she turns to leave, she'll find that Kotal is suddenly in front of her again, sharp macuahuitl blades pointed at her.
"You will explain your actions, Gaia! Or I will slay you where you stand!"
"It will not be the first time I destroy a fellow deity."
Alitura rolls her eyes at the god of war as he point his weapon at her once again. "Even if you attack me, you'd merely be destroying my vessel. And did I say anything about taking her away from you?" She crosses her arms and tilts her head. "You ask me to explain, but you obviously aren't listening, so why should I?" The tree lady sighs and squeezes the bridge of her nose, as if she's getting a headache, even though that's not possible. "I pity that girl for having taken a lover as dense as you. I'm actually growing weary of teasing you..." Yep, Alitura was teasing Kotal. She has always been a very mischievous goddess and thus she wanted to play around a bit. She holds up her hand and grins. "Now, if you truly do want me to explain, ask nicely. You've been awfully rude to me from the get-go while I actually forged this body so I could help you all out with this situation. If you are able to put that fragile little man-pride of yours aside to be polite, I will tell you all you need to know about Silencia and the reason she's all wrapped up like that." Her tone turns a little mocking, as if challenging the war god. "Will you be able to do that, boy?"
"You come to my realm and trap my beloved in a prison of vines and expect me to remain calm about it!?"
"How would you react if I kidnapped one of your archdruids and trapped them in the Netherrealm for no reason? Then try to pass it all as a practical jest??"
"My anger at you is perfectly justified."
He SLAMS his macuahuitl hard on the ground causing the entire city to shake and then sets it up with the top facing down again going for the neutral stance.
"Explain yourself woman. That I am asking you with words and not with my blade is all the politeness you will get from me today."
Finally Kotal has managed to draw a reaction from the tree lady that is not in any way a joke. Though it is nothing that he expected. Alitura's eyes widen as the ground shakes underneath her. She gasps and turns to rush to the little bundle of vines. She kneels down and gently caresses the vines that soften underneath her touch. She seems to be checking something. After she's done, she rises and turns, actually glaring at the god of war. "Are you insane?! Those damn tremors of yours can actually hurt Silencia!" Oh no, Mother Nature is angry. The nature around reacts just as it does to Silencia's emotions, the bushes growing wild thorns, the trees creaking menacingly, every plant in the park grows to hold a very hostile stance. Well, the only exception being those vines. The serenity and peace in the park completely disappears before the wrath of Mother Nature. "I was -trying- to keep the conversation light, but your dumb ass only sees your own little pride! My vines are not a prison, they are a cocoon!" Alitura all but growls at the war god, the goddess standing protectively infront of the little bundle. "You call her butterfly, but you had no idea that she was merely a larva! Right now, she's working hard to actually become that butterfly!" Alitura finally calms down, forcing the nature around her to do the same. Her voice is low and calm, but a very tense calm. "If I had not welcomed her into my embrace as her instincts wanted me to, she would have gone insane with need. She would have lived the rest of her life suffering from an intense need she cannot fulfill and a mind that's broken by the power that tries to consume her. Such is the nature of her kind. They need my protection while they mature."
Naturally, Kotal's first reaction to being called a dumb ass is to clench his teeth in anger. Its not until Mother Nature rushes towards the cocoon in an attempt to protect it that he finally begins to understand.
Red eyes turn back to their golden color as well as the rest of his tattoos and he frowns, not out of anger but from frustration. "This is where the path of secrecy leads." He states and moves towards Gaia, macuahuitl now set on his back again.
"Had you told me your intentions from the very beginning this all could have been avoided."
He glances to the cocoon first as Gaia explains Silencia's problematic nature and then stares back at the goddess. "Then, my suspiciouns were true? She is one of the fair folk?"
Now it's Kotal Kahn's turn to chuckle and shake his head when Gaia has the gall of belittle him for his inability to be by his lover's side. "Your omnipresence has dwindled over the millennia, o' Great Mother. How much ignorance do you show me by thinking I have better things to do than be by my butterfly when she needs me the most."
He moves past the goddess and towards the cocoon to kneel beside it. His hand hovers above it to try and sense Silencia's chi again and attune to it, hoping that even in her slumber she can feel him by her side.
"Truly, I would happily throw all my responsibilities away to be by Silencia. I heard her plea, bound as we are by our energy, no matter where I may be I can always hear her, as she can me."
Then he looks towards the goddess abruptly, eyes glowing from under his eagle helmet. "And yet, even I was powerless to come to her aid. For this place has powers at play that exceed even ours, the Old Gods are very much alive here and threaten to make not only Twisted their own personal amusement park, but many more realms."
"When I heard Silencia's plea I had been sucked in by another dimension, saving the lives of mortals from another universe connected to this one. Had I been selfish, I would have relinquished my duties and forsaken their lives to fly back to my butterfly, something that would have no doubt angered Silencia."
"She has always put the safety of others over her own. To care for others is something that she has taught me. She would understand my actions."
As he stands, he narrows his glowing eyes at the plant goddess. "It surprises me that you would suggest I sacrifice the lives of others for her benefit, Silencia would not have approved of such cruelty."
"Perhaps you are correct to think of her as a suitable heir."
Aliturna crosses her arms and huffs, showing the side of her that is more like a little girl instead of a 'Great Mother'. "I know of the kind of person Silencia is, I also know where that personality originates from. She prefers to overlook her own needs for the needs of others. That is why I feel obligated to act selfish on behalf of her. She is still just a girl, no matter how mature she may act. This life has taken so much from her already, I will not allow anyone to hurt her or take anything from her ever again." Aliturna takes a step toward Kotal, about to say something, when she suddenly stumbles. She quickly grabs the tree and regains her balance. Her movements are less fluid now, as if her joints are stiffening up. "And you are wrong, I am not omnipresent in this realm, for it is not my world. That is the reason that I need to forge this vessel for myself to visit here." She straightens and glances at Kotal. "If you have any other questions about Silencia, ask them now. This vessel will not hold me for long."
"Silencia has suffered far too much to be a prisoner of her own body."
As Gaia stumbles, Kotal offers an arm if she wishes to steady herself though he continues to regard her with judgmental eyes. "So it would seem, Great Mother. Otherwise you should have had the wisdom of contacting me the moment that Silencia entered this realm, that way I could have made preparations."
As for questions about the girl, Kotal pauses briefly before speaking again. "How long will she remain in that cocoon? And when exists it, what will become of her? Will she still be the same Silencia as before?"
Aliturna laughs at the war god, covering her mouth with her wooden fingers while she grins. "You attach too much importance to your being. I did not send her here for you to claim her. I sent her here because she would have gotten killed before her time in the world she was born in." Her gaze drops to the cocoon and the look in her eyes softens. "Right now, she is asleep. Her body and my cocoon will do the work while her mind wanders around within her dreams. How long she will remain in that cocoon is something I cannot tell you, because I do not know. For some, it takes a couple of hours, for others it takes weeks, even months. There are some who never wake, but those are the weak-willed. Silencia is not like them. She will awaken. And when she wakes, she will be the same Silencia. She will have grown to posses the wings of a mature Fae and her power will have shown itself. So far, you've only seen the magical power bestowed upon her as my heir. Her powers as a Fae will show themselves. Her mind and soul will remain the same." Aliturna reaches down and touches the vines that wrap around Silencia and smiles. "The peace of her environment is the peace of her mind, so if you wish for Silencia to sleep well, I advise you to refrain from disturbing the peace in this park. And now, I shall leave you. I have answered your questions and I grow weary. Though I must ask one thing of you." Aliturna faces Kotal with a calm look. Her voice betrays that this matter is of great importance to her. "Never tell Silencia about me. As far as she knows, I do not exist."
The Aztec then nods as she explains that even in her goddesshood she cannot forsee how long it will take Sielncia to emerge. "Silencia's soul and will are far stronger than even hardened warriors that I've seen. I do not doubt she will emerge from her cocoon soon." He glances at said cocoon and places a gentle hand upon it. "She is strong.. my butterfly."
Then he turns once more and nods. "Very well, I will do this much for you. I understand that such things are sometimes best kept hidden from mortals."
"And.. do forgive my previous anger."
"I've become.. I am very overprotective of Silencia."
Aliturna nods in agreement as Kotal explains the strength of Silencia's will. Her eyes widen slightly as she remembers something important. "Make sure you're there when she emerges. When Fae finally emerge from their cocoons, they tend to emit pheromones... Some predators are attracted to that scent..." She does not elaborate, the information provided is enough for the war god to understand that she should not be alone when she emerges." As Kotal promises her to abide by her wish and apologises for his anger, Aliturna shows a warm smile that is very similar to the smile Silencia gives when she's taking care of someone. "Thank you. For abiding by my wish and for your apology. I have been watching over this child ever since she lost her mother, so I understand your need to protect her." She pauses and takes a deep breath, what she's about to say is something that she cannot easily say. "I will entrust her safety to you. I will not see her until the day comes that she's ready to succeed me. It is a reassurance to know that she will be under your protection, thank you." She leans her back against the tree and sighs, even leaning the back of her head against the tree. "And farewel." And with that, her 'body' sinks into the tree and disappears, leaving nothing behind of the Goddess of Nature.
Kotal Kahn listens quietly whilst Gaia explains the rest, never taking his eyes off the cocoon that holds his beloved.
As she takes her leave, the Aztec nods in understanding. As a fellow god he too understands that after an eternity of ruling the times comes where a successor is required. The day might come where Kotal himself may be in Gaia's position, though that will not be in any time soon. There are still many things that Huitzilopotchli must do.
"Farewell, Great Mother. I will keep Silencia safe. I swear it."
As she leaves he can sense the park returning to peace again and he exhales from his nostrils.
"Did you get all that Reptile?"
Behind him, a green suited ninja appears from nowhere and hisses. "Of courssse.. I will make preparationsss.." Looks like he's been there the whole time.
"See to it." Answers Kotal. "Protect the cocoon at all costs."
"If what Gaia says is true, there is no telling what kind of predators Silencia's pheromones might attract when she emerges from her slumber."